After meeting a mother at a North Side food pantry in need of an emergency supply of diapers and formula for her infant daughter, Kadens mobilized her personal network to share any of their spare baby supplies. The response was hundreds of donations from parents eager to help. The following month, Share Our Spare was founded to ensure that no family would have to stress over providing their children the most basic essentials.
SOS received nonprofit status in 2012. First functioning out of Kadens’ garage, operations were moved to a 1,500 sq. ft. office space – which was later expanded to 3,000 sq. ft – and two offsite storage spaces. In 2021, SOS moved into our current 8,000+ sq. ft. Sharehouse to accommodate the significant growth and demand we were experiencing in the new decade. In 2020 alone, as families struggled during the pandemic, we distributed more diapers (1.2 million) than all of our previous eight years combined.
Since our start, SOS has helped an estimated 50,000+ unique children and their families across metro Chicago find support, strength and hope through an agency partner model, which emphasizes wraparound services and empowering upward economic mobility.